This weekend I visited my friend Dan who lives on the seacoast of New Hampshire. The fact that the ocean is a 30-second walk from his front door made the adventure extra appealing.
Dan and I have been friends for about six years. He has seen me through some really hard times and some really good times. He is always on the other end of the phone when I call.
He is a man with big dreams. It’s probably part of the reason that we get along so well – and also why we sometimes clash.
Here is Dan’s dream: to end homelessness.
Seriously. Big dreams.
And I have to admit that more than once, as I listened to him talking about the book he’s writing and the film he’s making, I thought…he’s way out of his depth.
And then this weekend he showed me some of the film. And I was BLOWN AWAY.
Last year Dan took 100 days to drive across the country with a film crew. In various cities he filmed interviews with homeless people, advocates for the homeless, and man-on-the-street interviews with people who want to help the homeless and people who want to forget they exist.
Now he is in his little beach cottage working on making a movie. He has a full-time job running a homeless shelter. And he comes home and “picks away” (his words) at the movie on his time off.
Dan often talks about money and time being the only two resources we truly have. He doesn’t have a lot of money, so he’s using his time the best way he can.
His ideas about how to treat the homeless are pretty revolutionary – having been in the hospitality industry for most of his life, he believes that a person staying in a homeless shelter should be treated like a guest rather than a problem. He believes that the residents should be treated with respect and should be given advocacy rather than yelled at. He believes in building them up, rather than shaming them.
Listening to him talk this weekend, I finally GOT it. This man can change the world. Honest to God, he can. I am inspired by his passion and his drive. I am inspired by the fact that his goal is more important to him than the obstacles he faces.
Below is one of the trailers he’s put together for the film. If it intrigues you, click here to see a piece of Dan’s presentation and browse through some of his other clips and previews. If you have the resources and you believe (as I do) that Dan Mitchell can change the world, please go to his website and make a donation that will help to get the film finished.
So many of us don’t start because we’re afraid to fail. Part of what I admire about Dan is that he doesn’t let that fear of failure stop him. He laughed this weekend as he said, “Worst case scenario is I don’t end homelessness!”